Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe, Africa, Sue Soffe Sylvester immigrated to California in 1967 with her parents and brother. She started her career in artistic gymnastics in Woodland Hills, California, but due to an injury while competing as an elite, decided to give rhythmic gymnastics a try with the encouragement of then coach Alla Svirsky.
Soffe Sylvester began her rhythmic career in 1974 and went on to represent the USA in international competitions throughout the world, including the Rhythmic World Championships in 1977 and 1979. As the nation’s top-ranked rhythmic gymnast, she was a six-time consecutive U.S. National Champion.
At the age of 23, Soffe Sylvester was forced to retire due to a chronic back and hip injury. She performed rhythmic exhibitions and traveled the world extensively before returning to Southern California, where she worked in the real estate field.